Maternity in Focus

Maternity in Focus – The Public Maternity System Plan for 2022-2032

Maternity in Focus: The ACT Public Maternity System Plan 2022-2032 (Maternity in Focus) is a consolidated action and implementation plan that addresses national and local strategies, in addition to recommendations from the Inquiry. It is a holistic approach to maternity system reform underpinned by a focus on individualised care, equity, and evidence.

The recommendations from the following documents were consolidated in the development of Maternity in Focus:

The system-wide focus of this Plan will deliver system and service level changes that better support the needs of individuals accessing the public maternity systems and the multidisciplinary health professionals working within the system. Through this plan, there will be ongoing involvement with consumers, community sector and health professionals to evolve the maternity system to meet the ongoing needs and desires of consumers and health professionals.

Development of Maternity in Focus was led by ACTHD in close collaboration with CHS, Calvary Public Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre (QEII), consumers, non-government organisations, academic leads in maternity related fields, and health service providers. Ongoing, strong collaboration and engagement by all public maternity services providers, consumers and interested external stakeholders will be vital to successfully implement Maternity in Focus.

Over the next ten years, we will work together to make changes to the public maternity system and services through evidence and innovation to achieve these goals and actions, and to make the ACT public maternity services the best in Australia. 

In the next four years, the ACT Government will commence implementation of Maternity in Focus through the Maternity in Focus: First Action Plan 2022-2025 (First Action Plan). The actions identified for implementation over this timeframe will deliver essential reform, create the foundation to evolve the public maternity system and deliver on Government commitment to delivery better care when and were people need it.

Maternity services in the ACT

Each year, over 6,000 women, pregnant people and their families access the ACT maternity system for their pregnancy and birth. Women and pregnant people have the option to access public or private maternity care depending on their individual choices and health needs.

Public maternity services

In 2019, the Canberra Maternity Options Service (CMOS) was launched to streamline access to public maternity services in the ACT. This service is the single-entry point if you want to use public maternity services.

It ensures you have the right care at the right place at the right time. It is ideal if you are 10-14 weeks pregnant when you attend this appointment.

Find out more information about CMOS.

Canberra Health Services

CHS and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (Centenary Hospital) provides all levels of maternity care, including for women with serious complex obstetric and fetal conditions requiring high-level multidisciplinary care.

As the regional tertiary referral service, it supports and links with the surrounding lower-level maternity services regarding consultation, referral, and transfer of high-risk women/babies. The service provides routine antenatal education, clinical management, and care by medical, midwifery and allied health teams at the Centenary Hospital in both the ambulatory and inpatient setting. Midwives additionally provide education in community health settings, schools, educational facilities and in the family home. The service provides valuable training experience for medical, midwifery, nursing, allied health staff and students.

Find out more information about maternity care at Canberra Health services.

Calvary Public Hospital Bruce (Public)

Calvary Public Hospital provides antenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care for women with low to moderate risk pregnancies with obstetrician-led, midwifery-led and general practitioner (GP) Shared Care models available. Intrapartum care is provided for women who are 34 weeks gestation or over. Women requiring tertiary level maternity and/or neonatal care are transferred for ongoing management to Centenary Hospital.

Find out more information about maternity care at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce.

Private maternity services

You may choose to see a private obstetrician for your pregnancy care. If this is the case, please see your GP to get a referral to see an obstetrician of your choice. Private midwifery services are also available in the ACT. For more information visit having a baby in Canberra.

Calvary John James Hospital (Private)

The Calvary John James Hospital Maternity Unit was founded in 1994 and provides obstetric services, including:

  • private ensuite rooms
  • antenatal assessments
  • birthing suites
  • maternity education classes and workshops
  • midwifery care
  • special care nursery

GP Shared Care

GP Shared Care is a great choice of care if you are healthy, with an uncomplicated pregnancy. Your pregnancy care is shared between the hospital and your GP. During your pregnancy, most of your appointments will be with your GP, and some with a midwife from the hospital.

You get to continue or build up a relationship with your local GP who will support the long-term needs of your growing family.

If you are interested in this model of care, please discuss this with your GP.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander maternity services

If you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or pregnant with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, you can choose to receive your care through Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services or Canberra’s public or private maternity system.


Front page of Maternity in Focus ACT System Plan


Maternity in Focus First Action Plan
Page last updated on: 24 Jun 2022